Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has been awarded the 2019 Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development for successfully implementing the Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation project.
The Arab Gulf Programme for Development has conferred the third category award on NRWB. The prize is presented annually to stimulate and encourage innovation and creativity in areas of human development.
In an interview on the sidelines of the announcement yesterday in Blantyre, NRWB board chairperson the Reverend Howard Matiya- Nkhoma attributed the success to dedication by both management and support staff.
He said: “I believe we have received this award because of team spirit and cooperation between management and support staff.
“On the other hand, I also believe that it is the proper use of resources and the support from government for them to accept and approve these resources.”
Matiya-Nkhoma also said he believes the award will motivate government to provide the parastatal with enough resources so that it can achieve a lot more in the implementation of its various projects.
NRWB implemented the $22.85 million (about K16.8 billion) project between 2015 and 2019 with works involving establishment and rehabilitation of gauging stations and catchmen
protection, tree planting with communities, promotion of hygiene and sanitation within communities and building of other auxiliary structures.
In a separate interview, Minister of Irrigation and Water Development Charles Mchacha, described the award as an achievement not only to the institution, but the country as a whole.
“It is a big achievement for us as a country because as such institutions strive to succeed in their projects, the end result puts the country on the map just as is the case with this award,” he said.
The minister said the award signifies a stable team spirit in the institution’s working environment which is a motivation to all workers.
NRWB was nominated by the Opec Fund for International Development (Ofid) with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The prize is divided into four categories. The first category involves nominations of regional, international and United Nations (UN) organisations while the second category is for nominations of national non-governmental organisations.
The third category, where NRWB belongs, consists of nominations of governments and social foundations while the fourth category is for individuals.
NRWB is, therefore, expected to receive $200 000 (about K147 million at the current exchange rate) in Geneva, Switzerland, in October this year.
However, the money is expected to be disbursed earlier to facilitate implementation of a project of the parastatal’s choice in fighting the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic